The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) hosted its 45th Biennial Congressional banquet in honor of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and to mark the commencement of his historic third Apostolic Visit to the United States, at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2021.
His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon represented His All-Holiness, who felt unwell Sunday morning and was hospitalized overnight for observation. His All-Holiness was released from the hospital Monday morning.
“AHEPA promotes all the values and principles that are the rich legacy of Hellenism – Ancient, Byzantine, and Modern,” His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel said during his toast. “And the Holy Archdiocese, as the daughter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, embodies these values and principles as they have been baptized into Christ through the preaching of the Gospel. For the Omogeneia, the Archdiocese and AHEPA are two hands of one body, and we are grateful for their cooperative spirit.”
In his remarks in honor of His All-Holiness, Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas spoke about the effectiveness and meaning of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s message of unity, love, and compassion, and he pledged AHEPA can do more to amplify the Ecumenical Patriarch’s message.
Tonight, we celebrate the 30-year anniversary of His All-Holiness’s election to Ecumenical Patriarch,” he said. “Thirty years of service preaching love, unity and compassion to the world.”
Kokotas added, “We also must make sure His All-Holiness’s ministry, his message and his spiritual home—the Ecumenical Patriarchate—are safeguarded from the plight they face daily. They must be sustained…it must flourish.”
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America received AHEPA’s presentation of $100,000 to become a Founding Member of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation: For the Sacred See of Saint Andrew. Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas and Chairman of the Board Nicholas A. Karacostas, PSP, made the presentation, along with a gift to His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel.
Ahepan, Archon and Prominent Businessman Michael Psaros delivered the Keynote Address.
Several members of Congress addressed the audience: U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), U.S. Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues and co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus; U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues; U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), and U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY).
Daughters of Penelope Grand President Kathy Bizoukas presented a gift to His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel.
Mike Emanuel, Fox News Chief Washington correspondent, served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Chairman of the Board Nicholas A. Karacostas, PSP, delivered welcome remarks.
(Photo credit: Bill Petros)